09 February, 2010

Planned Parenthood's Polluted Progenitor - from the woman who (respectfully) puts the 'mad' in Madam!

If the Catholic Church is considered unworthy of participating in public discourse because of the suspect beliefs or values of the past, then perhaps Planned Parenthood's must withdraw from the public square as well given the racist values promoted by their foundress, Margaret Sanger. Watch this short video yourself and see what you think. Just don't forget to leave your thoughts behind in the comments threads!

Thanks.

Fr. Tim

39 comments:

  1. Thanks for this Fr Tim! Powerful Video, and so true!

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  2. Uhm... the church is considered unworthy of participating in public discourse because it tries to follow Jesus. If the world hates the master how much more will it hate those who follow him. There is little reason behind this... only a visceral feeling on the part of a lot of people that these Christians are an embarressment and must be dealt with. Therefore do not think to counter it entirely with reason but with the gospel preached with the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Besides, the only real difference between the Catholic Church and Planned Parenthood is that we know we are sinners and we are forgiven. After all, isn't that the good news?

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  3. Twisting words that were meant in a whole different context and making it seem like they were aimed specifically at black Americans because they were black? For shame!

    Disraeli said there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Ads like this one misuse all three.

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  4. You should read up on Margy. You won't probably admire her but not because she was a racist or eugenicist.

    One should remember that we're talking about the first third of the 20th Century, a totally segregated society, where not even the most liberal elements advocated humane treatment of Negros on the basis that there was anything valuable in their culture or that they had any intellectual potential.

    I always found it interesting how quickly the Irish Catholic adopted American racist attitudes and treatment against the Negro. Apparently several generations of being classified as bestial subhumans, snared in web of drunkenness, domestic violence, incest and compulsive criminality didn't sensitize them at all to the plight of others.

    You are supposed to be an educated man.

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  5. Planned Parenthood has never been for the betterment of the human race, their only aim is a morality-free society where everything goes. Why Obama supports them, one can only guess? But Obama will only be a one-term president anyway!

    I see Lady Janus playing her old game of "ambush", shot and run and hide without any intellectual discourse. Fine if that is her style? Lady Janus, the truth will get you one day.

    Cliff

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  6. This is ideological. Racist attitudes are forgivable if you an early 20th century liberal but not if you are a poorly educated Irish Catholic immigrant? Racist attitudes are wrong but if you hold the right ideas you can be forgiven? Forgiven by whom?

    Sorry... no sale. If I'm going to be forgiven, and I do not for one moment doubt the necessity, I would prefer to be forgiven by someone who is not also neck deep in the same morass that I'm in.

    There were two thieves crucified next to Jesus. One was forgiven and that is what makes all the difference.

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  7. Margaret was a Catholic, Registered Nurse, who renounced her faith from an early age, married a Jew and was active in the cause of legalized birth control. That's why Catholics despise her.

    She broke the law at the time to provide women with access to birth control. She never had anything to do with abortion. She never made any money out of her endeavors.

    You want to get into eugenics, it was common practice to involuntarily sterilize orphans, misfits, mentally ill and retarded. This was done in both State and Church facilities. Neither Margaret or the organizations she was affiliated with had anything to do with this.

    I have read on various wingnut sites that Ms Sanger both fornicated with Negros and conspired in their racial genocide. I have heard that she also was a supporter of the Klu Klux Klan, which would not be likely if she was the wife of a Jew and fornicating with Negros.

    Once again, I don't mind if you want to hate Margaret Sanger but you should get your facts straight. It makes the difference between being a legitimate partisan and an ignorant bigot. Who knows, maybe some of you aspire to ignorant bigotry? In that case, congratulations. You have reached your goal.

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  8. Samuel Johnson said
    "Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory, as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage, or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others, those attempts which he neglects himself."

    I believe what Fr. Tim is reacting to here is the excessive use of the charge of hypocrisy that is often leveled in these arguments. Unfortunately "they are as bad as we are" is not an argument but a reaction.

    The Catholic Church is just chock full of sinners of all kinds... a quick reading of the New Testament will reveal that this was true from the beginning. Nevertheless we really sincerely believe that abortion and artificial birth control are wrong.

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  9. "...we really sincerely believe that abortion and artificial birth control are wrong."

    This is fine, so long as you believe it for yourself. I will never argue that you shouldn't live by your own beliefs.

    But when you try to make ME live by your beliefs that I do not share...that's when the war will begin. And I take no prisoners.

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  10. Lady Janus & Freyr: The logic behind my post (aside from being a non-supporter of PP) was to make the following point:

    Many people use previous positions of the Church or individuals within to denigrate and deny the truths that it teaches now. You know what I mean, the Crusades, Inquisition etc, not to mention the current crop of sexual perverts who have infiltrated the priesthood (literal wolves in the sheepfold - even if this expression is an insult to wolves!). No allowance is made for the context of time or situation. Yet, when an organizations like Planned Parenthood is found to suffer the same ignoble examples, immediately voices are lifted in defense saying things like "consider the culture of the time" or similar phrases.

    Sticking with my wildlife theme, don't you believe that's what good for the goose is good for the gander? Why should the church be denied the same benefit of the doubt that is demanded for people like Sanger?

    One final point: our society is a democracy. This means that we live as equals under a system of laws. If the majority opinion is expressed in a pro-life formulation (as compared to our current pro-abortion status) then that will become the law of the land for everyone. We are each free to "fight" for what we believe in this court of public opinion and law, but we all need to live under whatever is the law of the land. I say this in particular reference to your last post Lady Janus, for we do not live in a state where everyone is able to do whatever they want.

    fr. Tim

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  11. Oops: Sorry Freyr... I meant to address that last comment to Reddog and Lady Janus... not you.

    Fr. Tim

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  12. Hi Tim,

    You wrote that: "Many people use previous positions of the Church or individuals within to denigrate and deny the truths that it teaches now."

    The big difference between human organizations (e.g. Planned Parenthood) and ones which are divinely guided (e.g. The RCC) is that we should expect divinely guided ones to be demonstrably better behaved.

    Your comments Tim suggest otherwise.

    Are you saying that The RCC is not divinely guided? Or are you saying that divine insitutions and human institutions are similar in their behaviours?

    Cheers...Martin

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  13. I see drive by Janus is with us again? Shot and run.

    "Take no prisoners" ??? Meaning you are not open-minded, and you have the only correct viewpoints?

    Cliff

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  14. G'Day Marty,

    I think it was you who once said to me that everything that is of the Church of Christ exists within the RC Catholic Church, but not everything of the RC Church is necessarily of the Church of Christ.

    Yes the RC Church is "inspired" by the Holy Spirit. This does not mean the RC Church (or its officers) are never wrong.

    Tim

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  15. Hi Tim,

    If the RCC is inspired by the Holy Spirit, then it is reasonable for us to hold it to a higher standard than uninspired human insititutions.

    So yes...we expect more from the RCC and yet we see that it is an institution that is riddled with errors, sin, and compromise. IMO the RCC behaves no differently than any other human organization. I see no evidence of it being inspired by anything.

    For you to claim that the RCC is unfairly criticized because of its checkered past is a bit rich...particularly while you castigate PP for its checkered past. "Do as I say...but not as I do"...indeed...some call that hypocrisy.

    Critics of the RCC, however, do not need to reach back to the Inquisitions of 1478 to find fault. Not when there is such a rich treasure trove of misdeeds in the here and now.

    I don't think I need to enumerate the RCC's abundant and current failings to make my point. But if you insist, I conveniently have a very long list at hand.

    Cheers...Martin

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  16. Cliff said:
    Are you saying that The RCC is not divinely guided? Or are you saying that divine insitutions and human institutions are similar in their behaviours?

    Yes, the Catholic Church is divinely guided and yes its behavior is often as flawed as any human institution.

    We are taught that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. We are also told that it will preserve the teachings of the faith without error until the end of time. There is no guarantee that any individual Catholics whether laypeople or the highest members of the hierarchy will not fall into serious sin or make any of the mistakes that humans do. We trust that in spite of it all the teaching of Our Lord will be preserved and a faithful remnant will be there to greet him when he returns.

    We have survived scandals... we have been in power, out of power, under sentence of death. We have been persecuted from without and suffered corruption from within.In spite of it all... in spite of everything the world has thrown at us... in spite of everything we have done to ourselves... we are still here. By all accounts the Catholic Church should have died out any number of times but we are still here. That is truly a miracle.

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  17. I am not sure how my name got tied into the comments by the above poster, "Freyr." It certianly was not me who made these so-called questions.

    Your apology is accepted.

    Cliff

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  18. Martin: Forgive me for thinking that you are pulling my tail in this exchange.

    First off, you know as well as I that the promise of Christ is that he would not permit his church to (forgive me for quoting Mickey P.) "cannot screw up so perfectly as to thwart the plan of God". This means that even if the church careens from one ditch to the other, it will still achieve its purpose in the end. So, the church does not claim to be perfect, or even faithful at any given point in time. Rather, we simply believe that we imperfectly try to follow the path that Christ started us on.

    Next, you should also remember that the direct charism that is enjoyed by the Pope is to speak infallibly on matters of faith and morals (and even this must be put into its historical and cultural context as it does not mean that the Pope is always right on every issue. He does however, thanks to the grace of his office is going to be a lot closer to the truth that I will be.

    Thirdly, I am not claiming that we are better than PP; I am stating that the instinct to offer all the appropriate rationalizations to some organizations (like PP with the checkered morality of its founder) is deserved by the Church as well.

    Finally, the sins of individuals, while horrifying do not reflect upon the beliefs of the church as an institution. The fact that the acts of sinful priests and bishops are held in such contempt is because they are so exceptional to the norm.

    Tim

    PS. Life good these days for ya?

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  19. Sorry Cliff...mea culpa

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  20. I don't claim Margaret Sanger was a Saint. I think that Planned Parenthood is an organization that has outlived its useful life. Contraception is available to all and abortion is legal. The clock will never be rolled back on either.

    Women like Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton had big flaws too and the Red Cross is today a hugely corrupt organization.

    The Catholic Church chooses to make Saints out of these kinds of people, like Mother Teresa, who was an old slaver and whore monger for the Church. It's up to you if you want to do it or go along with it. Why choose to be gullible?

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  21. "...don't you believe that's what good for the goose is good for the gander?"

    I don't know; that would depend on what "it" is and how the gander feels about it. In other words, you're asking the wrong person, here. I don't speak for anyone else.

    And our society might look like a democracy -- after all, we have elections -- but it does not operate like one. But even if we were a true democracy, in such a system, the majority are not allowed to run roughshod over the rights of minorities. If they could, then the Catholic church would have been severely constrained many years ago.

    "I say this in particular reference to your last post Lady Janus, for we do not live in a state where everyone is able to do whatever they want."

    So long as there is harm to none, I don't see why not.

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  22. Mother Theresa a slaver and whore monger?

    Let's do this once again for those who weren't listening the first time. Mudslinging is not argument. As I have said above "they are as bad as we are" is not a reasonable argument.

    Moreover this is a red herring. Its purpose is to shut down the conversation and reduce us to children sticking their tongues out at each other across a schoolyard.

    Now if you wish to continue this conversation, we might talk about bias in the media or even why Roman Polanski's faults are forgiven while Mel Gibson's are not. However I suggest you keep it respectful. I am not here to provide you with target practice!

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  23. Hi Tim and Cliff,

    So to sum up, you both accept that:

    1. The RCC is divinely inspired.
    2. The RCC behaves like any other organization. It is sometimes good. It is sometimes bad.

    I assert that we shall know a tree by its fruits. If something is of god, then it should be better than something that is not. In other words, a divinely inspired organization should be superior in its knowledge and behaviour than any uninspired human organization.

    I point out that assertion #1 is inconsistent with assertion #2 above. If assertion #1 is true, then what evidence do you have (other than your firmly held opinion or belief) that the RCC is inspired? You seem to both acknoweldge that the RCC has a checkered past....just like any other human organization.

    Now please...turn your irony meters to the off position...

    Even on the question of abortion, the RCC's teachings over time are inconsistent. The RCC once taught that it was OK to abort a fetus until "the time of the quickeing". Please refer to St. Augustine 354-430 CE. The RCC believed that at the time of the quickening (when the gestation of the fetus was sufficiently advanced so that the mother could feel it move) then at that moment the soul entered the fetus. Ergo - it was OK to abort up to the time of the quickening.

    Today the RCC teaches that the fetus is "ensouled" from the moment of conception. Consequently, it is now always wrong to abort - regardless of the gestational period of the fetus.

    I presume that you can see where I am going here...if the RCC is divinely inspired, then it does not even appear to have had any superior knowledge about the basics of "ensoulment". In other words, the RCC appears to depend upon human science, and man's understanding of biology, to decide on doctrinal matters. How is this consistent with an organization that claims to be inspired by god? If abortion is so important to god, then why did god not instruct the RCC through scripture, on the basic facts of ensoulment? Why was the RCC teaching an error on the question of ensoulment and abortion for centuries? Why have numerous fetus' been aborted with the tacit approval of the RCC?

    Seems to me that even on the straightforward question of ensoulement and abortion, the RCC had its facts wrong. Hardly the hallmark of divine inspiration.

    Cheers...Martin

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  24. Hi Martin,

    Let me try to respond to your points.

    1. "I assert that we shall know a tree by its fruits. If something is of god, then it should be better than something that is not. In other words, a divinely inspired organization should be superior in its knowledge and behaviour than any uninspired human organization."

    What leads you to think that the good that the RCC has accomplished is not superior to other organizations? Let's look at a short list:

    -creation of hospitals (as an institution) as well as creating and running 25% of all health care institutions in the world
    -creation of universities (again as an institution) and thus is the initial source of virtually every scientific, cultural and religious advancement over the past 1500 years
    -provided the model for social services that has morphed into modern social welfare state
    - created the monasteries that are the foundation of economic development
    - countless acts of charity offered out of religious beliefs

    (Note: I am claiming these things as fruits of the church as it was the institution that spawned what we have today - not that in and of itself that it accomplished all these goals for the institutions planted by the church has grown beyond the RCC. Remember the mustard seed parable?)

    2. "Even on the question of abortion, the RCC's teachings over time are inconsistent. The RCC once taught that it was OK to abort a fetus until "the time of the quickeing". Please refer to St. Augustine 354-430 CE. The RCC believed that at the time of the quickening (when the gestation of the fetus was sufficiently advanced so that the mother could feel it move) then at that moment the soul entered the fetus. Ergo - it was OK to abort up to the time of the quickening."

    Remember Martin that old phrase "grace builds on nature"? As the understanding of nature grows with scientific advancement, so too does the comprehension of the RCC as to the grace that accompanies it.

    3. You are equating "inspiration" and "knowledge". For example, I believe that God inspired me to follow a vocational call to become a priest. He did not infuse the knowledge that I would need to accomplish this end. Further, if you demand that the RCC must possess by virtue of its inspired nature the fullness of knowledge in all things, then you are setting up an impossible standard for the RCC to meet (at least until we arrive at the end of time that is when all will be revealed).

    4. Another common answer to the general thrust of your query is to point to the fact that the RCC is the oldest human institution in existence. We predate the current version of the Jewish faith which formed after the temple mount was destroyed by the Romans at the time of the Jewish rebellion of the 1st century AD. Given the tumult of history over the past 2000 years and the sinfulness of its members, its very existence can be offered as proof of its unique nature.

    Hope this helps.

    Tim

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  25. Martin: One point I forgot to include in my list of "fruits". The establishment of the Guild system that become the foundation of our trade and labor markets.

    Doc Ryan would not be pleased if I forgot to mention this point as well!

    Tim

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  26. Hi Tim,

    I do not argue that no good has come from the RCC.

    I do maintain, however, that the RCC has, and continues to produce much evil.

    In other words, the RCC looks and acts just like any other human organization. The only unique quality that you and Cliff cite is the church's "longevity". You conveniently circumvent the Jewish religion...by citing the destruction of the 2nd temple as the turning point. Not sure they would argree with your arbitrary distinction.

    In any case, I would also point out that Zoroastrianism (which is still very much alive and in existence) predates both Catholicsm and Judaism by centuries. Consequently, you may not even claim longevity as your unique evidence of god's divine "inspiration". If longevity is the litmus test of divine inspiration, then Zoroastrianism should be our logical choice for a religion.

    You seem to take exception to my interpretation of "inspired" meaning some kind of superior knowledge and/or behaviour. As Doc would say...define your terms. Tell us precisely what you mean by "inspired". It was after all the word that you introduced to describe the RCC.

    I will caution you that if you water down your definition of the term "inspired" too much, it will become a test that many other human organizations can meet.

    My experience with some religious folks is how often they move the goal posts, or retreat into the fog of ambiguous and vague language to disguise the fact that they have no solid arguments at all in their favour.

    I presume that you agree with me that the RCC teaching on ensoulment and abortion has been inconsistent over time. Since you claim that abortion is so important to god, it is a mystery to us mere mortals as to why god would leave his church so clueless on this important doctrine. Seems not even the popes were uniform in their views here.

    Cheers...Martin

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  27. Hi Martin, I think you are confusing me with someone else, as I don't know how my name got mixed in with this topic, as my beef was with Lady Janus? You are making the same mistake as Freyr assuming because there is more than one "Anonymous" that we are one and the same person. I sign my posts with the name Cliff.

    Cliff

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  28. Hi Tim,

    Since you have so eloquently enumerated some (but not all) of the good deeds of the RCC, I offer this abbreviated list of past evil:

    a) The conquest of Mesoamerica by Spain in the name of the Church

    b) The legal process on the Italian scientist and philosopher Galileo Galilei, himself a devout Catholic, around 1633.

    c) Catholics' involvement with the African slave trade.

    d) The Church Hierarchy's role in burnings at the stake and the religious wars that followed the Protestant Reformation.

    e) The injustices committed against women, the violation of women's rights and for the historical denigration of women.

    f) The inactivity and silence of many Catholics during the Holocaust.

    g) For the execution of Jan Hus in 1415.

    h) For the sins of Catholics throughout the ages for violating "the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and [for showing] contempt for their cultures and religious traditions".

    i) For the sins of the Crusader attack on Constantinople in 1204.

    More recent evils such as:

    1) the sex abuse scandals in North America and Europe.
    2) the illicit hiding and protection of predator preists by the heirarchy in North America and Europe.
    3) opposition to the equal treatment of homosexual persons under civil law.

    I am sure you appreciate the balance I am trying to bring to the discussion.

    Cheers...Martin

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  29. My apologies Cliff.

    The comments section is sometimes difficult to read.

    Cheers...Martin

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  30. Just curious...who gets to weigh out the opposing laundry lists here? Cause it could take a while...

    "Yes but..." arguments are all well and good if you're sitting in a pub cause the beer is good and we all know the argument ends at last call. Online it loses some of its appeal.

    Where are the goal posts anyway? What exactly would it take to convince you of the Church's divine origin?

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  31. Hi Martin,

    Again, let me try to address some (or all if I'm really good) of your points.

    1. Longevity issue: ran into any Jewish priests or Levites lately? The institution of Judaism as it existed in temple times no longer exists. It was reconstituted in a new and different form with the advent of the diaspora. As as institution, orthodox Judaism is younger than the RCC. The Jewish covenant still exists but their "Church" does not. Try wearing a yarmulke onto the Temple Mount today (a.k.a. the Dome of the Rock) to test out the truth of this statement.

    I offer the same argument to the Zoroaster's. Their faith may continue but they do not possess an institutional body that predates Christianity. I remind you that it is you who demand precision in our terminology and on those grounds, my initial statement is correct.

    2. Your list of evil acts (even though I could certainly argue that even the list you offer is "evil") is the usual litany of oft repeated allegations against the Church. However they do not add up to anything more than the accumulated wrong decisions of the RCC, either on political or scientific ignorance. This does not excuse any of them, but it does demand that they be taken in their proper historical context. They are also simple evidence of Mickey's wisdom that I quoted in my prior post.

    (continued in next comment)

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  32. (continued from above)

    I am not moving the goal posts. I am simply dealing with historical facts and not worn out rhetoric.

    What does inspired mean? I think I explained this already as well (cf. the Mickey quote). So long as the RCC still exists, its very presence is a sign of it being an institution of both human and divine origin. You may choose to not believe the same, but reality need not be formed to your belief. How does that old saying go? "For those who believe no proof is needed; for those who do not no proof will suffice."

    Regarding abortion (or the point at which life begins), the RCC also believed in the Dark and Middle Ages that each sperm was a VERY small little person that was planted into the womb of a woman. Again I point out that scientific advances have led the Church to understand the entire conception process in an entirely different light, but it is still the same truth. Aquinas thought that life began with the "quickening" as this is what science told him, therefore abortion could not take place after the start of life. Modern science now reveals that this life begins at the moment of conception - but the RCC still teaches that once life begins, we do not have the right to terminate it.

    I conclude Martin with something I said to you in a prior comment in this thread. I cannot help but think that you are simply "pulling my tail" with this argument as I know that you are well aware of the answers. So, let me ask you: what is your issue in this line of argumentation? Are you looking for someone/thing (ie. God or Church) to be the object of your anger and despair in response to the pain and suffering you have endured? I remember well that you possess an exceptional intellect, and you are more than capable of finding the answers to the issues you pose vis a vis the "inspired nature of the Church" and the existence of God. Yet, somehow it is one step too far for you to accept the answers you know. Thus my contention that you are having fun with me (something I admit that I enjoy) or you are searching for something that is eluding you. I do not presume to tell you that I have the answer that will sate your mind, but I am more than willing to continue in these discussions if you are. I don't expect you to directly answer me on this fundamental question that I put before you (such a public forum is not the proper forum for such personal revelations), but I do hope that in your own time and mind, you might consider if there is any validity in what I am suggesting.

    I know you to be a very good person. I believe that whether you come to believe as I do or not that you will be rewarded with eternal life due to your kind and generous character. I say this because irrespective of what you do in life, you cannot take yourself beyond the salvation that Christ won for us. So please believe me, it is not my intention to "convert" you. This blog is intended to be a place where people can seek dialogue on these fundamental questions of existence and you know that I will always welcome your input (whether you agree with me or not - grin).

    Tim

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  33. "What exactly would it take to convince you of the Church's divine origin?"

    Well, speaking for myself, that would all depend on how you define "divine."

    But a question in return: as long as your church is divine to you why do you care what it is to someone else?

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  34. Lady Janus: If I can add my two cents, I agree with you on this point. I am a FIRM believer that in affairs of faith and belief, it is the role of the church to PROPOSE a better way, but it must not IMPOSE its will on people.

    I do point out though that this is different from our previous discussion in as much as the state does have the authority to impose its will through its laws. People of faith (and everyone else as well) have the right and obligation to try to influence the decisions that lead to these civil rules so that they are in harmony with the values that they hold to be true. It is here that we (you and I) run into conflict or disagreement for you seem to believe the ultimate value to be respected is the right of the individual to do as they wish, whereas I believe that the rights of the individual must conform where necessary to the common good.

    Your thoughts?

    Fr. Tim

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  35. "It is here that we (you and I) run into conflict or disagreement for you seem to believe the ultimate value to be respected is the right of the individual to do as they wish, whereas I believe that the rights of the individual must conform where necessary to the common good."

    That's an extremely well-tailored nutshell!

    I don't believe there is such a thing as a "common good."

    We as a species are far too diverse to allow such a concept to take hold. History bears me out on this. It's one of the reasons we have wars.

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  36. Lady Janus: Do you know that the sun is going to set this evening where you live? Do you know that to live, it is necessary to breath, eat and drink? Do you know that it is possible to find another person in this world with whom you could live and love?

    This is not common knowledge?

    Then we also know that to organize our lives around the solar day is a proven path for success. We know too that it is necessary to ensure that our air, soil and water are kept clean so that we can breathe, eat and drink. Humanity also knows that when male and female of the species cohabit, in an emotionally rich life, they flourish.

    Surely if you would permit people to organize their individual lives as they wish, you at the same time must realize that there are "goods of the earth that we all share in common, a.k.a., the "common good".

    Western European societies, as it current exists today is on the verge of demographic oblivion. Because they neglected their primal obligation to the "common good", (to propogate in sufficient numbers to maintain a viable population), and as decade upon decade has passed, they have failed to birth sufficient children. This has brought them to a point where soon they will come to the end of their particular branch of the tree of life (be it an evolutionist, Theist, or which ever belief system, "tree").

    Everyone has a genetic stake in such questions, and thus everyone has a stake in the maintanence of species, lest homo sapiens come to its demise, by neglecting the "common good".

    There have been other branches of our common genetic origin that flourished throughout the planet, only to come to a sudden disappearance from the planet.

    I grant you that perhaps we are coming to our end anyway, but a society has as its most basic of functions, the obligation to organize itself so as to maintain our continuation as a species.

    And, I grant to you that wars have sometimes been fought in the "name" of religion, but every war is, at is base a "political" act. Does this not mean that war is essentially a political problem that is given the scant cover of religion?

    Wars are fought over resources, power and status, not faith.

    The issues being addressed by the pro-life community are issues which touch upon our existence as a species. We have every right to argue as we you, BECAUSE, we are speaking to our "common good".

    I ask now to note that not once in my argument, did I make reference to any divine revelation, restriction or instruction. It was an argument rooted deep within the scientific soil of what passes for "knowledge" these days.

    Just because we DO believe in our theist explanation of our creation, does not negate the wisdom they offer on how to best organize our living together.

    Science, faith and common logic are, in my opinion, saying the same thing. It should be shouted from the roof tops by anyone who want's to ensure life for our prodgeny.

    Fr. Tim

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  37. "...there are "goods of the earth that we all share in common, a.k.a., the 'common good'."

    All very well. We all live on this planet, so we do have that in common. But we don't all live in the fertile parts, or the temperate parts, so our needs are not all the same.

    And I have no problem with people's wanting to group together voluntarily in specific places to pool their resources and skills to make their lives more comfortable. But there's a point past which that mode of living is ideal. Unfortunately, that's also about the point where the power-mongers and self-styled "leaders" decide that they've got themselves a good opportunity for upward mobility, and they begin organizing the group of individuals into a gang for which individuality is anathema.

    "...they neglected their primal obligation to the 'common good'..."

    See, I don't think the "common" good should be the prime obligation. You cannot have a strong and divers community if you neglect to keep the individual members strong. I dislike homogenization and equalization for the sake of conformity. Sameness is a killer of impetus, and a breeder of ennui.

    Then, too, there is the uniquely human problem of overbreeding our available food sources. No other animal does that. But humans, collectively, think different than humans as individuals, and collectively, we are a scourge on our own resources. Our problem at the moment is not that we fail to birth sufficient children, but that we breed indiscriminately in the mistaken idea that more is always better.

    And yes, we have seen the disappearance of certain groups of humans (and animals). But this is normal activity in the development and evolution of a species. What is no longer efficient is lost in favor of the new-and-improved. And it all comes down to the individual, without which there could be no collective.

    "Wars are fought over resources, power and status, not faith."

    My short answer is, tell that to the Sikhs and the Muslims in Southeast Asia. Or the Shia and the Sunni.

    Longer answer is, you're probably right, in a way. But faith -- or religion (not always the same thing) -- has a role. It's implied, more often than stated, but what else are the wars over resources and power for, but to bolster the status of the religion? Every modern civilization that ever waged war on an enemy had its own dieties out front and center in one form or another, urging the soldiers on "for the greater good."

    Continuing...

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  38. "The issues being addressed by the pro-life community are issues which touch upon our existence as a species."

    Are they? I look around at the burgeoning population of this planet, and I see absolutely no danger of our disappearing as a species anytime soon.

    There is one other aspect of population numbers that comes into the picture sorta sideways -- the fact that the more numerous the population, the more the leaders tend to treat their citizens as a renewable and disposable resource. In other words, cannon fodder. I don't know how you feel about it, but I'm rather offended by that idea on a very personal level.

    "I ask now to note that not once in my argument, did I make reference to any divine revelation, restriction or instruction."

    I think that's because you are confident enough in your own intelligence and communications skills that you don't have to rely on quoting from another "authority." You think for yourself, and you seem to be a rather good critical thinker. I really am enjoying this! Matter of fact, I think if we ever met, we might just get on extremely well. What an entertaining thought that is!

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  39. Lady Janus: Thank you for the kind words. I too believe that we would get along quite famously as I appreciate as well the keenness of your thought and the beauty of your discourse. I only hope that I will be able to provide sufficient material to keep our conversation going. Not just between us, but with the other articulate voices in these discussions. People such as yourself, Reddog, Cliff, & Martin (just to name a few) are treasured both in mind and prayer for me for it is all too rare to find others who are willing and capable of entering into such conversations as we have been having here of late.

    Again, thank you for the compliment.

    Fr. Tim

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